Costume Notes: Agent Carter (red dress)


This is a slightly different post today in that this was a commission build for my friend Lady Amaralidi! She approached me a little while back asking if I could help her with this build since she planned to meet Hayley Atwell at Wizard World Philly. I ADORE Peggy’s wardrobe in Agent Carter, so of course I said yes!

Lady Amaraldi is a huge Agent Carter fan, and she really wanted something that looked like it was basically grabbed from the set of the show. She also wanted something that she could incorporate into her daily wear, so I utilized several vintage fashion techniques and took that into consideration.

The Basics: 

Pattern: Sewaholic Alma and Simplicity 1560.

Fabric: Red wool crepe from Mood fabrics, cotton voile for the underlining, and muslin for lining.


  • Added an underbust seam to the bodice
  • Slashed and spread the sleeve for a larger puff
  • Added length to the sleeve for gathers
  • Tweaked placement of front darts to line up with skirt princess seams
  • Altered and drafted neckline to match source material
  • Shifted zipper to the center back and made it lapped

Notions: Zipper, pre-made ivory piping, 1/2″ horsehair braid

Make it again?: Sorely tempted to make another one for myself!




How I Made it: I focused first on the bodice of the dress. I used Sewaholic’s Alma blouse as a base. My client is similar in size to me, so I was able to use one of my previous mock-ups and tailor it to her body. Once it was on her, I drew in the underbust seam and re-figured placement for the front darts to align with the skirt.

The skirt is Simplicity 1560. It’s a pretty straight-forward pattern and worked well for the lines my client wanted. My only difficulty with it was making sure that the princess seams matched up with the blouse.

The sleeves were the trickiest part to draft. I made a copy of the Alma sleeve, and then slashed and spread the top to create an extra voluminous puff. Creating the gather at the bottom of the sleeve also took some finagling, but it was a fairly simple process once I got the hang of it.


The only other tricky part of the dress was the funky chest piece. I had to be suuuuper precise with my stitching, and really think about the order of construction. I used purchased ivory piping for the front piece.


I read up on quite a few techniques regarding handling of wool crepe, from pre-treating to finishing seams. Pre-treating wool is a topic that definitely deserves its own post, so I won’t go into detail here. After lots of agonizing, I opted to treat it with Euclean for shrinkage and bleeding, since the red was so, so bright. The hand of the fabric did change ever so slightly, but not enough for me to regret my decision. Lots of tutorials I read also recommended pinking the seam allowances with wool crepe to reduce bulk rather than serging. This was pretty fortuitous for me, since my serger basically decided to give up on life while I was working on this project!

Thoughts: This was such a fun dress to make, and I’m sorely tempted to make one for myself! I love when clients adore their finished pieces, and Lady Amaraldi wore this immediately out the door since she was on her way to a Captain America showing. I also nearly died when she said that Hayley Atwell complimented the dress. Happy fangirl moment!


What’s your favorite Peggy Carter outfit? 

11 thoughts on “Costume Notes: Agent Carter (red dress)

  1. Absolutely gorgeous! Just curious, but did she not want the neckline low cut as it is in the show? The tailoring on Hayley Atwell’s wardrobe is so well-cut to her body, the costumers usually find ways to show off tastefully done cleavage.

  2. What an excellent Peggy! And how cool to have a compliment from THE Peggy. I’ve so loved all the costumes from this show. I wish it were coming back! A lot of the tulip sleeves and perfect colorblocking in wool always caught my eye.

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